The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 1995
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 97 minutes
Genre: Teen Comedy
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portugese
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacy Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Dan Hedaya, Wallace Shawn, Breckin Meyer, Twink Caplan, Jeremy Sisto, Donald Faison
Written & Directed by: Amy Heckerling
Music by: David Kitay
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 1, 2012
"Sex. Clothes. Popularity. Whatever
Alicia Silverstone, in her breakout role, sparkles as Cher, the matchmaking 15-year-old Beverly Hills High schooler who has shopping and boys on her mind, but mostly shopping. Also starring Brittany Murphy as a dowdy transfer student, Jeremy Sisto as her potential mate and Paul Rudd as Cher's sensitive "Baldwin" step-brother, Clueless is a teen classic that captured the hearts of a whole new generation.
Jane Austen might never have imagined that her 1816 novel Emma could be turned into a fresh and satirical look at ultra-rich teenagers in a Beverly Hills high school. Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash), both named after "great singers of the past that now do infomercials," are pampered upper-class girls who care less about getting good grades than wearing the right clothes and being as popular as possible. But Cher, who lives with her tough yet warm-hearted lawyer dad (Dan Hedaya) and hunky, sensitive stepbrother (Paul Rudd), also has an innate urge to help those less fortunate like the two introverted teachers she brings together ("negotiating" herself improved grades in the process) and new friend Tai (Brittany Murphy), who starts out a geek and ends up a Cher prodigy. Cher also possesses her own sensitive side, and she is looking for the perfect boyfriend, whom she ends up finding where she least expected.
Clueless isn't high brow entertainment or meaningfully significant filmmaking but it's light, fun and successfully hits the mark in its genre. In 1995 writer/director Amy Heckerling was no stranger to the teen flick scene having directed Fast times at Ridgemont High, a timeless classic that remains fun to watch. She has a penchant for creating endearing characters/situations that are derived from personal experience ( I love Look who's talking and Look who's talking too). Originally written as a TV project Clueless was reworked into a feature film aimed at a specific audience. Clichés abound in this sort of idyllic portrait of a rich kid world where there are no real problems. The premise wasn't especially new however the eclectic dialogue, over the top fashions and infectious charm of a well chosen cast of fresh faces made for a rewarding teen comedy that clearly made a mark on its generation. I haven't seen it in years but like many of Heckerling's films it holds up quite nicely. The cast, many of whom have gone on to successful acting careers, are pitch perfect in their respective roles as well as in their enriching interaction with one another onscreen. Alicia Silverstone absolutely nails Cher. Watching her and Stacy Dash (Dionne) rattle off their own very specific terminology is a hoot. Speaking of Stacy Dash (who by the way was 28 years old in 1995), she is simply stunning which I find makes it tough to look at anyone else when she is onscreen. I couldn't help but feel bad watching the late Brittany Murphy who was just sixteen when she made her film debut in Clueless. The popularity of the film led to a TV series, which ran from 1996 to 1999 and featured several cast members from the film including Stacy Dash. I am not so sure that Clueless has achieved the status of a classic (although fans may feel otherwise) but it holds up very well and proves entertaining and ultimately fun to watch. I guess you really can't ask for more than that.
The rating is for sex related dialogue and some teen use of alcohol and drugs.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Clueless comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 39 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.
This is a solid looking high definition Blu-ray catalog release from Paramount. It boasts clean, well depicted colors that offer an enriching mix of secondary hues that appear tonally balanced and natural. Facial complexions and skin tones are warm, with pinkish highlights. The level of detail present is noteworthy which enhances dimension during bright wide angle camera shots. There are minor fluctuations in apparent resolution that are more than likely related to the original photography. In most cases I had no trouble making out the thread patterns in clothing/furniture or the texture on surfaces in the 1.85:1 framed image. There are instances where the video takes on an edgy quality but I don't feel it was excessive or distracting. Black and white levels are stable which gives a fair level of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences. Grain is intact, even layered and unobtrusive while providing a noticeable texture that is film like. The print is in decent shape and artifacts are kept to a minimum. All in all I would say that this one is a winner.
The lossless audio presentation is quite good and renders the source elements with refining clarity and supportive dynamics. The dialogue and front soundstage is rendered with appreciable tonal variation and channel separation. The surrounds aren't active at all times but support the front oriented presentation where appropriate and adds spatial extension to the film's music. The mix isn't aggressive but does create a stable and enjoyable sound experience that mates well with the tone of the film.
- (HD) Clue or false trivia game - In movie pop-up trivia game
- The class of 95 - 18 minute 2005 featurette
- Creative writing - 9 minute featurette
- Fashion 101 - 10 minute featurette
- Language Arts - 8 minute featurette
- Suck N Blow a tutorial - 2 minute behind the scenes look at the game featured in the film
- Drivers Ed - 3 minute behind the scenes look at the highway sequence
- Were history - 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Theatrical and teaser trailers
From the mind and heart of writer/director Amy Heckerling, Clueless is a fun, sassy, charming and entertaining spin on teen life as seen through the eyes of Cher and her multifarious circle of friends. Seventeen years after its release Clueless manages to hold up quite nicely thanks in large part to its excellent young cast and Heckerling's bouncy direction. It makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring a strong high definition video presentation, crystal clear lossless sound and a solid offering of supplements most of which have already seen the light of day (save for the interactive trivia game) but are worth checking out. If you're a fan this is a must have.
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You're review takes me back, reminding me about what made this film so enjoyable way back when. I haven't seen it in years, but might have to break that streak with a blu-ray viewing. Thanks Ralph, and good job.
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